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Rock-Flow Cell: An Innovative Benchtop Testing Tool for Flow Assurance Studies

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posted on 2019-04-04, 00:00 authored by Jeong-Hoon Sa, Aline Melchuna, Xianwei Zhang, Rigoberto Morales, Ana Cameirao, Jean-Michel Herri, Amadeu K. Sum
Flow assurance is a critical component in the design and operation of robust oil/gas production systems. Undesired precipitation of solids (gas hydrates, wax, asphaltenes, scale) reduces the production rate and often leads to costly and hazardous disruptions. Many experimental and modeling efforts have been made to build knowledge of managing such risks. However, a major difficulty is to transfer the laboratory data to the field conditions. We introduce a new experimental system, the rock-flow cell, which is compact and requires fewer resources to build and operate. This system can readily achieve different flow regimes by controlling the liquid loading, water cut, and rocking angle/speed. A sight glass visualizes when, where, how, and how much solid forms and precipitates out. Gas hydrate formation tests with anti-agglomerants are presented to demonstrate the capabilities. The rock-flow cell is an innovative testing tool for flow assurance studies by properly capturing thermohydraulic conditions in actual flowlines.